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Big Big Train - English Electric (Part Two) CD (album) cover


Big Big Train


Crossover Prog

4.08 | 773 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Last year Greg kindly sent me a copy of the new Big Big Train album, 'English Electric (Part One)', continuing a relationship that goes back for more than 20 years when the band became the first ones ever to send me music to review that I hadn't paid for. Back then it started me thinking about how I could expand the magazine I ran, and Feedback went from strength to strength. Well, after he had sent me the last album in 2012 I reviewed it for and was then approached by one of the site administrators as they wished to know how I had hold of a copy of the album which at that point was yet to be released. I explained the situation, my history etc, and the next thing I knew was that I had been invited to become a prog reviewer to the site instead of just a contributor. So all these years down the track, BBT are still impacting what I am doing.

Now, I rated their last album as one of my top for 2012 and I can see that I'm not exactly in a minority as it is second on progarchives' top albums for 2012, while the new one is currently a smidgen away from the very top spot for 2013: it will be interesting to see if BBT or Steven Wilson are number one by the end of the year. The band describe this album as continuing 'its' journey across the English landscape with an album of seven new songs which tell further tales of the men and women who work on and under the land. Along the way, stories are told of the shipbuilders in Neptune's Yard, of a machine that burned its legend across the pages of the history books, of a keeper of abbeys and a curator of butterflies, and of a second chance at love.'

The word I used to describe the last album was 'maturity', and again that is very much in evidence here. How often do you hear NDV providing straight 4/4? Well there are sections where he is doing just that and others where he makes his presence felt by not playing at all. There is loads of space within this album, as if the guys just relaxed and became conduits for the music and didn't force anything at all. If it felt right then they did it, and if it felt right not to do anything well that was good as well. Musically this is prog, at least for the most part, but they move all over the shop and touch into classic rock, pop, Genesis and anything else that takes their fancy. It is such a grown up album, one that the Dorset lads couldn't have imagined producing all those years ago when they started. The other day I had all of my music out of the shed as I was checking to see how much shelf space it all needed (going up in two weeks time!!), and I came across that early BBT tape. I looked at the photo of the guys, and thought just how much everything had changed. And it is all for the better. A dreamy, wonderful prog album that belongs in everyone's collection, and it can be purchased directly from the band or as a download. Go to for more details.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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